When we started the paperwork to adopt Emery, I thought and prayed deeply about the impact and impression it will make on our family.
Could I handle the unknowns that were sure to come?
Surgeries, doctors visits, therapy sessions, emoptional scars, family counseling, attachment issues, etc.
The possible negatives could mount up quickly if not kept in check with God’s ability to heal.
Now, 6 months in, I’m finding I have so much yet to learn. So many days that I wonder if the choices I am making as a parent are the right ones. I struggle. It’s hard.
My dad always says:
Anything highly worthy of doing is the hardest thing you can do
and he’s right…oh so right.
But there is another side to the challenge…it’s the reward. today, I was present for something God needed me to see…one of the many rewards of adoption: its impression on my family.
When we sit to eat, he often asks if we can buy more chairs for the table so we can make room to adopt more babies. He talks of filling up our house with rooms and beds and kids. His heart is being captured by God’s love for children in need…what a beautiful sight!We’ve talked openly about orphanages. What the conditions might have been like for our sister. We’ve looked at pictures and considered what it would feel like to be one of those children. We’ve talked about birth parents and answered honest questions as best we could.
But we don’t overtalk about it.Nonetheless, the boys “adopt” everything. They “travel to china” to adopt a baby nearly everyday.
Sometimes they make cardboard box ships and set sail, coming home with a vessel filled with newly adopted stuffed animals
Sometimes they schlep stuffed animals from their bedroom all the way downstairs one by one, carrying each one carefully on their journey across the world.But today, I was struck by their deep understanding of what an orphanage is like…even taking on the role of orphanage caregivers. They gathered babies and lined them up in beds. they paid special attention to the sick ones, and went down the line offering food and band aids.
I wrote down some of their conversation, for fear I would forget such a precious moment. I couldn’t for the life of me find the video camera. It was MIA, of course.It went something like this…Foster taking the lead and Rowan repeating and adding accessory comments:”Rowan, hold that one carefully…she needs surgery soon. gentle, ok?”
“Now this one, put her over here. she’s so tiny!”
“Don’t worry babies! your mommy and daddy will be here soon!”
“We’ll take care of you until they get here.”
“Don’t cry sweetie! it’s ok!”
Foster: “Let’s adopt all of them!!”
(me, full on weeping)
(pointing to Emery)
“Look, i look good care of them!”(It was then that I was called away from my secret post of photoshooting and sobbing to come and be the mommy for all of the babies.)Their play got me thinking. Would I have had the courage to talk with the boys deeply about these real life situations without emery coming home? Would I have made a point to share with them the hurt of so many children (140 million to be exact) and the hope of adoption?I already know the answer. I would have been too afraid to trust they could handle such truths. such pain. I wouldn’t have given them enough credit to be able to consume deep sadness and allow God to produce hope.Because that’s what God does.
He produces Hope out of despair.There are many many things in life I don’t understand.
I’ll never know why Emery was left at the gate in front of a government building at one day old.
I’ll never know what her mom was feeling that day or if she thinks about Emery now.
Does she wonder where her small baby is? Is she searching for Emery the way I am searching for her?
Does Emery have more brothers and sisters?
Most likely we will never know
and even harder, Emery will never know these things either.
There are hard questions.
Adoption comes with a lot of questions, and often, few answers.
I feel a deep, paralyzing burden for her future pain and the fact that no matter how much I love her or care for her…no matter how many years I have longed for and made plans for her…it’s never enough to heal the hurt of abandonment.
But it’s not my job to heal.
I can’t produce Hope out of heartache…
but our sweet Father can
He has an incredible plan for my children
and I have a feeling that Emery’s brothers will play a vital role in God’s plan for her healing
because He does have a plan
A grand and beautiful plan.
Being a part of it is better than I ever could have dreamed.
Clint & Ang have been married for 7 years and have 3 incredible kids – Foster is 4 yrs, Rowan is 3 yrs., and our sweet baby girl, Emery whom we adopted from China. We love China and have spent lots of time there as English teachers. Angie is an avid photographer and etsy seller, and Clint is a man of all types of adventure. our boys are kind, sweet, wild boys of adventure who talk endlessly about their baby sister. Feel free to follow us on our blog.
my baby girl is 11 months old. and as i sit here writing, my mind wanders to what she might be doing at this very moment. my heart begs for her to be held. to have someone smile at her. soothe her when she cries. pick up her favorite toy when she drops it. giggle at her silly antics.
perhaps by her 13th month, i’ll look back and wonder what all this fretting was about. i’ll lean over and kiss her chubby cheeks and give her a squeeze as we head to the park in a frantic rush of peanut butter and jelly, sticky juice cups, sand toys and an array of random stuff thrown in my bag, sure to squash my lingering sunglasses and melty granola bars. i’ll try hard to remember my waiting anguish, but the pain i’ve felt for so many months won’t compute anymore.
the void of a child missing will be filled with God’s providence.
all of the perfectly folded leggings and tiny mary jane shoes will be scattered and worn and lovely. hair accessories will go missing amongst a bin of matchbox cars and somewhere her brothers will be calling her name, chasing after their toddling sister.
sometimes it feels like life can’t start without my little 11 month old. but i find something so amazing, even on really stressful days. the days when my ache is tangible. when tears threaten to unleash with the mere mention of her name. when i start to fall apart at the thought of living yet another day, week, month without my little one.
the hope that God IS caring for us. for her. His limitless ability to care for her in ways i’ll never know about. i don’t hope that he “will” because He IS. currently. each day. there’s no need to stress about the “will” because the IS takes care of it. amazing. He IS.
thank you Jesus for the way you grafted her together…for they way you designed me to be her mother and exactly the way you made her to be my daughter. we are meant to love each other and each day that passes i am grateful to be one day closer, even one hour.
an acronym that sounds like something teeny bopper texters are zapping back and forth…
but in my world, it means a HUGE step in our adoption progress…our Letter of Approval (shortened from the real name, which is Letter of Seeking Confirmation from Adopter = LOSCFA…goodness. add in our I-800. I-800A. I-864W. Artical 16. DS-230. DS-1981. and the list goes on…the vast number of forms and form names that make no rational sense in the adoption process is mind boggling.
but this…the LOA. the text messaging name. it’s my favorite.
you know why? because i have been dreading it. it’s a HUGE step, but because of our living situation, we are still waiting on a second homeland security approval in order to return our signed LOA. i have been hoping and praying the homeland security would come in first. but it hasn’t. so now, i will pray for faith. for an added abundance of faith. faith that God has this under control. that we aren’t behind. that we won’t miss a single possible day without our daughter. that i can release my heart racing palpitations. that the earth rocking anxiety pains i am feeling will subside. that i can stop shaking with nervous anticipation.
this is a blabbering post…but i need to document it for me. for emery.
i’m coming for you, sweetie.
your Father has not forgotten you.
i can’t do anything to change this process.
i can’t do anything more than i am doing.
i’m letting Him do the rest.
and i’ll come for you right when i am supposed to.
my sweet sweetie pie.
today i cried a lot for you.
i cried because i don’t have you.
and maybe you are crying because you don’t have me.
soon and very soon…we can cry together…tears of joy at our family complete.
it is a day that will be sooner than i realize. yet still too far away.
LOA. Love of Adoption. because no matter how hard or difficult or confusing, it leads me to you. and i love it.